Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Thailand to the west and southwest, Vietnam to the east and Cambodia to the southeast. It is one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies; its GDP grew almost 11 times from 2000 to 2021. In 2020, it suffered a setback with growth of only 0.7% and high unemployment; real GDP expansion is forecasted to rise 6.3% in 2022, and export and imports to rise 8.2% and 13.3% respectively.
Laos is rich in mineral resources. The government strives to attract foreign investment to develop the substantial deposits of coal, gold, bauxite, tin, copper, and other valuable metals. As such, mining Laos has received attention with foreign direct investments, and has a significant contribution to the economy. It also produces and exports hydroelectric energy generated from the country’s water resources and mountainous terrain. Laos imports petroleum and gas.
Tourism is also growing especially in the areas around the Mekong River and the Xiangkhoang Plateau. Its heritage, the relatively low commercialization compared to its neighbors, and geographical beauty makes it an exotic destination. The industry supports Laos’ economic growth, and expects its contributions to the annual GDP to rise by US$3.3 B by 2028.
At Asean Business Partners, we’d be glad to connect and help you tap the opportunities in Laos.